Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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p. v

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

This book is the result of work spanning two states, several universities, and two countries. I am pleased to acknowledge the advisors, colleagues, institutions, organizations, family, and friends who have supported my efforts along the way....

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Prologue: The Theatrical Afterlife

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pp. 1-13

A legend appeared in the nineteenth century concerning Molière’s manuscripts, which have not come down to us. The story goes something like this: a man from the provinces shows up in Paris carting a load of papers that he found in his attic.1 Suspecting that they are manuscripts and other personal papers belonging to Molière, he tries to donate them to the...

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1. Repertory: The Popularity of Moli

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pp. 14-33

In the history of theatre there are few examples of upheaval in a nation’s theatrical culture as sudden and pronounced as that which occurred in revolutionary France.1 The coup de théâtre for the Paris stage came in the form of government legislation abolishing long-standing royal supervision...

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2. Performance: The "High/Low" Moli

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pp. 34-48

The “Molière” of the revolutionary repertory was the Molière of the petites pièces: one- and three-act plays traditionally associated with farce and commedia dell’arte and differentiated from his grandes pièces (five-act verse comedies).1 Parsing his oeuvre in this dualistic way was a convenient...

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3. History: Rewriting the Story of Moli

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pp. 49-73

Moli

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4. Function: Retooling Moli

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pp. 74-99

Revising Tartuffe and its resonating biographical associations with Louis XIV worked to dislodge the memory of Moli

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5. Life: Depicting Moli

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pp. 100-122

In November 1789 the Com

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6. Death: Remembering Moli

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pp. 123-138

A good ghost story begins with a mystery. The mystery here concerns how, in July 1792, citizens of Paris unearthed a casket containing what they believed were Molière’s mortal remains. They placed it for safekeeping in the basement of the chapel adjoining the cemetery where, on a February night in 1673, Molière had been buried with the reluctant permission...

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Epilogue: The Future of an Afterlife

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pp. 139-143

The story of Molière’s exhumation did not end at the Musée des monuments français. I am referring not to the transfer of his remains to the Père Lachaise cemetery in 1817 but to an unresolved element of the exhumation. This study began with a legend. It is fitting that it should end...

Notes

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pp. 145-164

Works Cited

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pp. 165-178

Index

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pp. 179-184